Religion has been an integral part of human existence since humankind became aware of ethnicities and the rule of divide. Religious practices have a very broad scope in terms of actions, beliefs, and perceptions. Though religion provides a foundation to base a person’s life on, it inevitably also fuels violence. Religion provides a divide among the otherwise same species known as humans.
This divide has only fueled more disparage of each other only based on their religious beliefs. Religion serves to strengthen the bonds of solidarity among those who worship the same god, but the boundaries they create separate the pure and virtuous ‘us’ from the impure and evil ‘them’ in our perceptions of the ‘righteous’.
We who worship our god our way is truly human. But, are we human enough to people of other religions. The treatment of other humans who follow a different religion is often debatable in recent days, with violence on the trough of it all.
So, the question arises, does religion give you the right to do violence in the name of a deity? The news highlights mercy killing, mob-lynching and other acts of violence every other day that are happening continuously are being carried out based on conflicts among different religious communities. Most of the recorded acts of violence have all had their roots and cause as religious indifference.
The sense of ‘righteous’ is all stamped from the human perception of religion and not the religion itself. Humans have been bending the rules and changing their beliefs as required. Scriptures are constantly being reinterpreted as the circumstances change.
The important thing is that most of what religion is, is dictated by humans. And yes, humans ask for violence. Humans want everything to go by their own will. No one has seen God, and yet we conclude their existence, however, the association of violence in all this is still a bone-headed mystery.
Animals have always been a broad topic of discussion in any religion. Different religions have different practices related to animals. Some preach a species of animals, some also put up to sacrifice them in the name of a deity. The human-animal relationship has always been fueled by the adherence to religious practices.
The religious beliefs highly motivate how a person perceives the image of an animal, which could be as a being to worship, or to eat, or to sacrifice and so on. Animals get sacrificed after being raised as a pig for slaughter. Religion should build trust in all the living beings on the planet but does not killing an animal after raising it affectionately highlight the hypocrisy of this notion.
Violence under the name of religion also creates a political divide. The social divide which is mentioned earlier becomes a political divide when the communities are large enough to unite their ideas as a whole but at the same time oppose each other because of their distant unmatching beliefs.
For instance, India and Pakistan’s political divide have religious factors deep-rooted into it. India is a Hindu majority nation and Pakistan being a Muslim majority nation, have been at rivalry for decades. This rivalry has ruined families, killed people, and has been a point of concern for both parties at all times. This sure quantifies the impact of violence and hatred imparted by indifference in the perception of the teachings of any religion.
On the bright side, people of the same religion grow a strong bond among themselves by doing numerous similar activities together such as celebrating festivals. People across cultures and make cross-ethnic bonds with people of other religions. They get to learn new norms and perform valuable actions that are not limited to their beliefs.
The wide spectra of festivals, colors, cultures, and people do not invite violence to stay at its peripherals. Violence has only been spread by humans and not religion. Violence on the bases of religion has been long run in the history of mankind but it is now the time to accept other people’s beliefs and thoughts with an open mind and become more tolerant of the cultural variety around us.
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